February 15 – the latest launch date for Dagachu

A series of hiccups caused the project to overshoot its original target by more than two years

DHP: The 126-megawatt (MW) Dagachu hydropower project will start operating commercially from February 15, according to officials.

The project, which was supposed to have been completed in October last year, was delayed because of the failure of a 10m gravel trap section on October 3.

Chief executive officer (CEO) Thinley Dorji said that 98 percent of the work to re-construct the damaged portion was complete and the rest would be completed in a week’s time. “We’ll start filling the water in the head race tunnel by the end of this month,” Thinley Dorji said.  It will take around 10 days to fully fill the headrace tunnel.  This will be followed by testing of electro mechanical equipment by February 8 till February 15.

“The first unit of commercial operation will happen on February 15 and second unit after one month,” Thinley Dorji added.

The project estimated a loss of Nu 150 to 160 million after further delay of three months after the latest setback in October last year.

Dagachu project, which kicked off in October 2009, was initially set to complete in August 2013.   However, because of geological conditions and breaching of cofferdam (temporary dam at the dam-site) in 2011, work was delayed by a year.

The project, which was later set to complete on May 31, 2014 was, however, further delayed by a few months due to a 20m tunnel collapse in the head race tunnel (north) in January this year.

The project was scheduled to be commissioned in May, but after a portion of the tunnel collapsed on January 5 2014, it was rescheduled.

It was further delayed because of a failure of a 10m gravel trap section on October 3 last year.

However, CEO Thinley Dorji said that they were very hopeful that the project would now be commissioned smoothly.

By Yeshey Dema, Dagachu

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